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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 28 - July 4  > DM Inada hints at making use of SDF for Tokyo Assembly election campaign
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2017 June 28 - July 4 [POLITICS]

DM Inada hints at making use of SDF for Tokyo Assembly election campaign

June 28, 2017
In defiance of SDF personnel’s right to freedom of thought and creed guaranteed under the Constitution, Defense Minister Inada Tomomi suggested that the Self-Defense Forces support Liberal Democratic Party candidates running for the ongoing Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election and asked voters to vote for them.

Inada on June 27 attended a rally held in Tokyo’s Itabashi Ward to support two LDP candidates. She treated the SDF as if it was under her complete control and said, “I, as the head of the Defense Ministry, representing all SDF members, would like to ask you to support for the LDP candidates.”

Inada’s remarks could be interpreted to mean that the Defense Ministry and the SDF are cooperating with and supporting the LDP candidates in the election campaign.

The Self-Defense Forces Law restricts political acts of Defense Ministry officials and SDF personnel. A government ordinance also does not allow SDF personnel to make political statements supporting a specific candidate in a local government election.

Later on the day, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira made the following comment regarding the Inada’s remarks:

“Her remarks are outrageous because she alluded to a political use of the SDF for the purpose of winning an election. The SDF is a military organization and should remain neutral. She should be immediately forced to resign.”
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